Pepsi Cola has promoted European marketing director Simon Lowden to become its first international e-marketing and media director, in a move designed to strengthen its global online marketing activity.
Lowden will be based at the soft drink giant's New York headquarters, reporting to Ron Coughlin, vice-president of Pepsi marketing. His replacement is Graham Andrews currently franchise director for Pepsi in Africa, who joined Pepsi in 1994.
Lowden's new role forms part of Pepsi's plans to put itself at the cutting edge of new media, by focusing on e-messaging and viral marketing, and by developing a consistent web presence around the world. It is investing at least pounds 10m in the strategy.
Lowden said: 'Pepsi is recognising the changing media landscape, and how it needs to be at the leading edge of spending its media dollars, as well as making the most of new media. It has good activity in the US and UK, but needs to bring the rest of the world up to speed with a consistent direction.'
Pepsi also hopes to form more partnerships with web companies, similar to the tie-up between Yahoo! and its Pepsi Stuff campaign in the US, which enables customers to buy goods from Yahoo! with their Pepsi tokens.
It will continue to use US internet agency Message Media for its international e-mail and viral marketing activities, but will look to appoint a local agency in each territory for web site creation and content.
Lowden, number 37 in Marketing's Power 100 chart, joined PepsiCo in 1996 as UK marketing manager. He spearheaded the Spice Girls marketing activity and the relaunch of Diet Pepsi, and launched the Pepsi Chart Show.
As European marketing director he developed Pepsi's pan-European music programme, signing The Corrs, Robbie Williams and Five.